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Brian Wilson

What size of shotgun shells run best thru the PW-87 or Chiappa 1887 Lever Action 12 Gauge Shotgun

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I have seen videos of 2 3/4 shotgun shells on Youtube not ejecting the shells from the shotgun. Furthermore, I have seen some shells eject very well. Does the 2.5 inch Brass and plastic shotgun shells work better in this lever action shotgun? Let me know on what you think. Thank you.

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Mine ejects 2 3/4 just fine, if you run it like you stole it.

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Just now, Boulder Canyon Bob# 32052L said:

Mine ejects 2 3/4 just fine, if you run it like you stole it.

^^THIS^^

 

All 4 of mine feed 2 3/4" shells just fine as long as I work the action properly.

 

The stock has to be short enough that the shooter can easily open the lever fully.

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Run 2 3/4" factory and my reloads through both of our Coyote Cap 'race' '87s.

Don't baby it when you cycle any '87 levef SG.

OO

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Posted (edited)

I have heard it said that early on, the Chinese exactly reproduced the 1887’s, from the originals they had to work with in creating their reproductions.

 

Meaning, the early reproductions like mine, supposedly have “short” chambers that match the original shorter shells, making it difficult to eject today’s slightly longer shells.  My early Chinese reproduction ‘87 has weak ejection and I have to crank it pretty hard.  I guess I should have the chamber checked out and if necessary, have it reamed to the length of today’s shells.

 

Cat Brules

 

 

Edited by Cat Brules

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I run 2 3/4 out of my Chiappa.

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If you have ever seen Lassiter run an 87...he uses Remington Gun Club shells. That is also what he tunes the ones he works on with.

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Posted (edited)

A shorter 2.5” shell gives the shooter a tad more room to avoid catching the extractors when loading. When ejecting the the empty hulls it’s more how well the extractors grab the rim the hull and if the right extractor rotates down enough to release the hull. Ejecting the first round is normally never a problem because the shell coming up pushes the first empty out with force, it’s normally the last round that will hang up. The edge of the rim on some shells have more of an angle then others and the extractors don’t grab them as well plus it depends on how much material has been removed from the extractors and extractor spring pressure. I have owned 87’s that will extract and eject any different brand shell I put in them and others that will only work with 2 or 3 different brands, And don’t make love to the gun when you run the lever, especially the last round. My best luck has been with Winchester LNLR, Remington Gun Club, Remington STS and Federal Top Gun Metro hulls. Expecting a gun straight from the factory to eject the last round reliably without any work on the extractors by someone who knows what they are doing is a crap shoot but then some extractors have too much metal removed or not enough or spring pressure isn’t correct or the right extractor doesn’t rotate down enough after they have been worked on too. 

Edited by Caboose

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Posted (edited)

Let me expand on  my earlier comment.   I have 2 87's, a Winchester and a Chiappa.

 

Long before I got my Winchester, a pard told me the above referenced info about how the Chinese copied the internal action of the originals almost exactly.   As such, while the chamber was indeed 2-3/4" the innards of the gun were still built around an assumed 2-1/2" shell.  He told me that he'd had a lot of jamming issues until he switched to the shorter shells.   I do not know if the current Chinese made 87's have changed anything.  Nor do I know if the Chiappas are to the same specs or slightly enlarged.  

 

I DO know that my original 87 has had the chamber lengthened and the forcing cone extended to make it 2-3/4" safe, but I still run the shorter shells in it, just because.

For my Chiappa, I have so far only run empty Magtech all brass through it to get a feel for it, and it works fine.  Once I take it to a real match, I'll also try running the longer shells to see if they work.   If you don't want to go the All Brass route, you can trim AA's back to 2-1/2" and run them through your normal press.  You just need to make sure that you put the wad directly into the hull, and then put an overshot card over the shot.   You'll get a nice roll crimp to hold it in place as you finish running the rounds through the press, and you can use the exact same loading that you use in the longer ammo.

 

Good luck!

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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I only have the pw 87. I mainly shoot black powder with brass hulls. It does not like to feed the 2.5" brass. I trimmed mine down to 2.25" which makes them the same length as an unfired factory plastic hull and it does fine. I've also noticed with plastic hulls it prefers to eject a roll crimped hull over a factory star crimped hull. once the factory hulls are fired and the crimp opens they tend to catch the chamber on the way out and drop off the extractor a little early sometimes causing the empty to fall back into the receiver. YMMV

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From what I've noticed with mine, it's not the chamber size that inhibits ejection,it is the small ejection port. Shorter shells also seem easier for me to load, gives me a bit more wiggle room going in.

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17 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

I have heard it said that early on, the Chinese exactly reproduced the 1887’s, from the originals they had to work with in creating their reproductions.

 

Meaning, the early reproductions like mine, supposedly have “short” chambers that match the original shorter shells, making it difficult to eject today’s slightly longer shells.  My early Chinese reproduction ‘87 has weak ejection and I have to crank it pretty hard.  I guess I should have the chamber checked out and if necessary, have it reamed to the length of today’s shells.

 

Cat Brules

 

 

 

Coyote Cap used a 10ga model 1901 as his model,  just because of the longer chamber and dual extractor. ;)

OLG 

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23 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

I have only run all brass 2.5" though mine.   No problems.

I will eventually go with 2.5 inch brass shells. Thanks.

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22 hours ago, Boulder Canyon Bob# 32052L said:

Mine ejects 2 3/4 just fine, if you run it like you stole it.

What manufacturer and shells do you buy for your lever action shotgun? Have a good one.

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22 hours ago, Boulder Canyon Bob# 32052L said:

Mine ejects 2 3/4 just fine, if you run it like you stole it.

I heard that you have to rack the lever hard in order to eject the shell. Thanks for your reply.

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16 hours ago, Old Man Graybeard said:

If you have ever seen Lassiter run an 87...he uses Remington Gun Club shells. That is also what he tunes the ones he works on with.

I heard he is a Master Gunsmith no doubt. What size of the Remington Gun Club shells does he use? Thanks for the info.

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Just regular 2 3/4 inch. 7 1/2 and 8 shot

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7 minutes ago, Brian Wilson said:

What manufacturer and shells do you buy for your lever action shotgun? Have a good one.

I reload Winchester AA's . I load a very light 12.1 gr of Clay Dot, grey claybuster wads and 7/8 oz 7 1/2 shot. I have used factory Winchester Low noise/ low recoil with no problems.

4 minutes ago, Brian Wilson said:

I heard that you have to rack the lever hard in order to eject the shell. Thanks for your reply.

Yep you'll need to shorten the stock so you can get a good throw on the lever and lever HARD.

 

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13 hours ago, Caboose said:

A shorter 2.5” shell gives the shooter a tad more room to avoid catching the extractors when loading. When ejecting the the empty hulls it’s more how well the extractors grab the rim the hull and if the right extractor rotates down enough to release the hull. Ejecting the first round is normally never a problem because the shell coming up pushes the first empty out with force, it’s normally the last round that will hang up. The edge of the rim on some shells have more of an angle then others and the extractors don’t grab them as well plus it depends on how much material has been removed from the extractors and extractor spring pressure. I have owned 87’s that will extract and eject any different brand shell I put in them and others that will only work with 2 or 3 different brands, And don’t make love to the gun when you run the lever, especially the last round. My best luck has been with Winchester LNLR, Remington Gun Club, Remington STS and Federal Top Gun Metro hulls. Expecting a gun straight from the factory to eject the last round reliably without any work on the extractors by someone who knows what they are doing is a crap shoot but then some extractors have too much metal removed or not enough or spring pressure isn’t correct or the right extractor doesn’t rotate down enough after they have been worked on too. 

I heard about what you have mentioned recently in dealing with the extractors. Initially during this crisis I am trying to find a place that is open with a good gunsmith. I wanted to have the gun`s receiver deburred and smoothed like glass. After some time I will get some cowboy action work done. I appreciate giving me the names of shotgun shells that work for you. I just ordered some 2.5 inch RST shells with no 8 birdshot. I will see on how good these shells work. Alas, thank you for your reply.

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If you send it too Lassiter and have him fix it right .

It will work with about every 2 3/4 shell out there. 

Rooster 

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13 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Let me expand on  my earlier comment.   I have 2 87's, a Winchester and a Chiappa.

 

Long before I got my Winchester, a pard told me the above referenced info about how the Chinese copied the internal action of the originals almost exactly.   As such, while the chamber was indeed 2-3/4" the innards of the gun were still built around an assumed 2-1/2" shell.  He told me that he'd had a lot of jamming issues until he switched to the shorter shells.   I do not know if the current Chinese made 87's have changed anything.  Nor do I know if the Chiappas are to the same specs or slightly enlarged.  

 

I DO know that my original 87 has had the chamber lengthened and the forcing cone extended to make it 2-3/4" safe, but I still run the shorter shells in it, just because.

For my Chiappa, I have so far only run empty Magtech all brass through it to get a feel for it, and it works fine.  Once I take it to a real match, I'll also try running the longer shells to see if they work.   If you don't want to go the All Brass route, you can trim AA's back to 2-1/2" and run them through your normal press.  You just need to make sure that you put the wad directly into the hull, and then put an overshot card over the shot.   You'll get a nice roll crimp to hold it in place as you finish running the rounds through the press, and you can use the exact same loading that you use in the longer ammo.

 

Good luck!

I appreciate given me some tips concerning my lever action shotgun. I have to say that you have three lever action shotguns that must be a blast! Anyway, yes I have heard that the shorter 2.5 inch shells work better especially on the extraction of the shotgun shell. I don`t have a press yet since i am just starting out however I will get one in the near future.  Thank you for your reply!

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13 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I only have the pw 87. I mainly shoot black powder with brass hulls. It does not like to feed the 2.5" brass. I trimmed mine down to 2.25" which makes them the same length as an unfired factory plastic hull and it does fine. I've also noticed with plastic hulls it prefers to eject a roll crimped hull over a factory star crimped hull. once the factory hulls are fired and the crimp opens they tend to catch the chamber on the way out and drop off the extractor a little early sometimes causing the empty to fall back into the receiver. YMMV

I just got my PW-87 today. It seems this type of un obviously is ammo sensitive. Thanks for the info!

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6 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

From what I've noticed with mine, it's not the chamber size that inhibits ejection,it is the small ejection port. Shorter shells also seem easier for me to load, gives me a bit more wiggle room going in.

I have heard that the shorter shells work better in this type of gun. In matter of fact, I have some RST 2.5 inch shells on the way. Thank you for the info.

 

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3 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

Coyote Cap used a 10ga model 1901 as his model,  just because of the longer chamber and dual extractor. ;)

OLG 

Cool I did not know that.  Thanks.

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29 minutes ago, Old Man Graybeard said:

Just regular 2 3/4 inch. 7 1/2 and 8 shot

Thank you for answering my question! Have a good evening.

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I usually shoot Winchester AA shells through my unmodified, early Win’87 Chinese reproduction.

 

I load factory Win AA’s, two-at-a-time, into my ‘87 shotgun, fire and eject them.  Ejection is somewhat weak, but I have had NO failures of any kind with this shotgun.

 

Cat Brules

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8 minutes ago, Cat Brules said:

I usually shoot Winchester AA shells through my unmodified, early Win’87 Chinese reproduction.

 

I load factory Win AA’s, two-at-a-time, into my ‘87 shotgun, fire and eject them.  Ejection is somewhat weak, but I have had NO failures of any kind with this shotgun.

 

Cat Brules

 

Try less spring tension on the right side extractor. 

The springs in ball point pen work well here, and easy to cut down.

Make sure the 3 large screws on the rec'r are tight.

Drive it like you stole it....

OLG 

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1 hour ago, Brian Wilson said:

What manufacturer and shells do you buy for your lever action shotgun? Have a good one.

 

Federal Top Gun, Remington STS, Remington Gun Clubs, Winchester AA. 

 

Some shooters are shooting Fiochi and Rio shells as well. 

 

One brand I know does not work well are Winchester White Box shells. 

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1 hour ago, Brian Wilson said:

I just got my PW-87 today. It seems this type of un obviously is ammo sensitive. Thanks for the info!

Play with it for a while and then send it off to Lassiter for his drop 2 mod and some smoothing up. I liked mine before sending it off. Love it now. But honestly if I ever get another it won't be the pw 87 it'll be a chiappa or coyote cap version. They are a lot nicer running.

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

Try less spring tension on the right side extractor. 

The springs in ball point pen work well here, and easy to cut down.

Make sure the 3 large screws on the rec'r are tight.

Drive it like you stole it....

OLG 


Okay, OLG.  I’ll get into it and see if I can switch out that right side extractor spring to try to improve functionality.  I do crank it hard to eject the empties.  I’ll do some more research before I tear into it.  Thanks for the tip.

 

Cat Brules

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One thing to keep in mind is that while Lassiter's drop two mod makes it work really really well for SASS; it also makes it exceptionally hard to load the magazine.

 

If you are wanting to load the magazine full and blast away let Lassiter know.

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12 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

Play with it for a while and then send it off to Lassiter for his drop 2 mod and some smoothing up. I liked mine before sending it off. Love it now. But honestly if I ever get another it won't be the pw 87 it'll be a chiappa or coyote cap version. They are a lot nicer running.

Initially I will have a good gunsmith take the action of the gun to smooth it like glass. When I obtain the money then I will definitely send it to Lassiter for the drop 2 mod. Furthermore, I will have to find out on how much this will cost. I wonder is it a $200.00 dollar mod, $300.00 dollar mod, or even a $400.00 dollar mod? I will probably get another PW-87 myself, however I will eventually buy a Chiappa version for sure. Who knows i might even buy two Chiappa`s shotguns. Thank you for your input.

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14 hours ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

If you send it too Lassiter and have him fix it right .

It will work with about every 2 3/4 shell out there. 

Rooster 

Initially due to finances I will have the action deburred and smoothed like glass. In time and finances i will send this gun to Lassiter for the the drop 2 mod. 

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4 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

One thing to keep in mind is that while Lassiter's drop two mod makes it work really really well for SASS; it also makes it exceptionally hard to load the magazine.

 

If you are wanting to load the magazine full and blast away let Lassiter know.

Can you have drop2 mod and also have access to the shotgun shells inside the shotgun tube for shooting?

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